Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/8/14
The Bruins would seem to be at an advantage as a lockout-shortened NHL season approaches. For starters, the Black and Gold were one of the best-represented NHL teams in Europe, with 11 members of the team opting to wait out parts of the lockout by playing in Europe. While no one will mistake European action for the NHL, there’s no denying the advantages of staying in game shape while the lockout dragged on. The Bruins have to hope that pays off in a short sprint toward the playoffs. The B’s also have someone in their organization who knows all about playing a shortened season. Bruins president Cam Neely was still playing in 1995 when another lockout cost the league half a season. Neely scored 27 goals and added 14 asssists in the 48-game season for Boston during that shortened season. Neely knows that there will be added significance to regular season games, with two points meaning even more than usual night in and night out. “As a player you usually think, ‘We’ve got 82 games and you’re bound to have some ups and downs and mental lapses,’” he explained to the Boston Herald. “But you just couldn’t afford any of those when you were looking at 48 games. “It was like a sprint to the playoffs. You couldn’t afford to go through a bad stretch. Every game mattered.” The Bruins are a veteran team that should know that to begin with, but it’s unlikely Neely will let them forget that. Remembering that, along with a large core of the roster whose games were sharpened overseas could have the Bruins poised for success. “I don’t want to come out and say we’re set up better, but it is beneficial for us that a number of our players have been playing in Europe and actually playing very well,” Neely told the Herald. “We had both goaltenders playing over there at some point, which is a big plus. So, yeah, from that perspective of having such a large number of guys who’ve been playing in games, it is certainly helpful.” Some of the Bruins’ most important players stayed sharp in Europe with forwards Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin, defensemen Zdeno Chara and Andrew Ference, and goalie Tuukka Rask all spending some time — and enjoying success — while playing overseas. And perhaps most importantly, all of those players return to Boston for the season fully healthy.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kobe Bryant dishes on trash talk with Dwight Howard

Raiders owner Mark Davis: 'We want to stay here in Oakland'

Terrance Knighton: Broncos fans are ‘high-maintenance'

Ex-NFL player delivers own baby on North Carolina farm

USC players not happy about Josh Shaw reinstatement

FSU student: Books stopped bullets from hitting me

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jets-Bills game could be moved to Detroit, Toronto, New Jersey

Michael Vick wants to play at least two more years

NHL's Jack Johnson is bankrupt, parents mostly responsible

Michael Phelps' self-proclaimed girlfriend was born a man

Report: LeGarrette Blount 'expected to sign' with Patriots

Report: Braxton Miller not planning to transfer

Eagles broadcaster has Cowboys turkey for Thanksgiving

Nick Young on his swag: 'I’m like Michael Jackson, Prince'

Le'Veon Bell adds Steelers o-line to award candidacy picture

Ranking the NBA's most exciting rookies

Steve Smith drops fantastic line about playing in prime-time

Five NFL teams we still have no clue about

Ten NFL coaches who would be fired if season ended today

ESPNU reporter makes tasteless 'joke' about FSU shooting

WATCH: Jason Kidd returns to chorus of boos in Brooklyn

James Harden wears ridiculous shirt; Twitter reacts

Top storyline for each Week 12 NFL game

Marshawn Lynch fined $50,000 for not talking with media

Bruins News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Phelps' alleged GF born a man?

Bears considered benching Cutler?

Can Cardinals win a Super Bowl with Drew Stanton?

Steeler: Blount's release a blessing

WATCH: Carter moved by tribute

Giancarlo Stanton and the cost of becoming a boss

Report: Sandoval headed to Red Sox

VIDEO: HBO's 'Under The Lights' is a must watch

Brady: Belichick not as he seems

The NFL Chick gloriously interviews for the Gators head coach job

NBA's first openly gay player to retire

Vonn shares Tiger's outrage over Golf Digest 'interview'

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.